We begin the 2nd Sunday of Lent with a reading from the Book of Genesis, where Abraham is ready to sacrifice his only son Issac, the one he loved, as an offering to God. Being a father I cannot imagine offering any of my children up in this way as an offering. Yet God, for the sake of all of us, gave this ultimate sacrifice, his only son Jesus. God’s desire for Abraham to offer his son is not to be taken literally, but rather it symbolizes a need to sacrifice those pleasures in life that take us farther away from God.
When sacrifice is viewed in those terms, it provides a little more zeal to the three pillars of Lent, namely prayer, fasting and almsgiving. What we are being asked in this second week of Lent is whether or not these three pillars have been superficially followed or have we really dug deep into our faith and sacrificed. In other words, has our journey taken us from being compliant in Lent to becoming committed to Lent!
Being committed to Lent requires real sacrifice and should not be easily achieved. It is likely to be fraught with some missteps since we are all human. But every misstep should be followed by an even larger step back to God and toward our commitments. The season of Lent requires us to be reflective in our faith, to challenge our own spirituality and ultimately tame our wild beasts. To accomplish this, we must endeavour to make those sacrifices that force our faith to grow deeper and experience the fullness of this Lenten season.
During this second week of Lent, may we all reflect on our personal journey and continually strive to be committed to our faith and not just compliant!